Banana Double Chocolate Muffins

Many times I buy extra bananas just to have them over ripen in my fruit basket. I love the way my house smells when baking banana bread or banana muffins. All my children love chocolate so I enjoy combining the two that way I know they never go to waste. Here’s my favourite recipe adapted from the Taste of Home website.

I tweeked the recipe to my liking in order to make it more healthy. I cut the sugar the original recipe called for to half and coconut sugar instead of regular sugar. Feel free to use turbinado, xylitol, or even regular sugar. I also replaced the oil it originally called for with applesauce. Here’s my healthier version of the muffin recipe.

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Double Chocolate Banana muffins

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of coconut sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/3 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/2 to 1 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a muffin tin or use paper liners.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients until mixed. In a smaller bowl mix the applesauce, bananas and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix only until all blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Using an ice scream scoop, pour batter into muffin tin. If you wish, you can add some chocolate chips to the top of each muffin.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 mins.

Buen Provecho!

Baking, Recipe , , ,

Chorizo Burger

On Facebook I like a restaurant’s page. The restaurant is owned by a family member and the food is always great. Every day they tempt me with their lunch special and on a few occasions, the lunch special is a chorizo burger.

Now, I love chorizo, I love hamburgers, so to meld the two together is not only genius, but must taste like heaven. Since I work from home and am pretty much tied to the home during the day, I have yet to make it over to the restaurant to try it.

Last Monday I was looking in my recipe box for my roasted chicken recipe. I didn’t find it but instead I found a recipe I had cut out if a magazine called Ole Burger. I couldn’t believe it! I had a recipe for a chorizo burger all this time and had never made it! Guess what we were having on Tuesday night for dinner!!

I was right, they did taste like heaven. The kids loved them — I knew they would since they all love chorizo. I can’t wait to make them on a real BBQ once all our snow leaves.

Here’s how to make them:

Chorizo Burgers
adapted from Food & Drink magazine

375g of uncured chorizo ( approximately 3 sausages)
375 g ground pork
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley

Remove the casings from the chorizos and mix filling with ground pork. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Mix and make your patties. Place them in the fridge for 30 mins then grill them.

I made 6 patties because for the kids I made a few smaller ones but it does make 4 generous servings.

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I also made some saffron mayonnaise to put on your hamburger bun. Here’s how:

Saffron Mayonnaise

1 tbsp warm water
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Place saffron threads in warm water and let sit for 15 mins. Mix with mayonnaise until well blended.

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Buen Provecho!

General

Breadcrumbs

We love our bread. Especially the fresh, straight out of the oven, slathered with a pat of butter, which begins to melt on contact bread. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Sometimes I make homemade bread. I love the smell of cooked bread. This happens more often In the winter because we tend to be more indoors. It’s easy to make the dough in the morning, let it rise and then cook it in the afternoon during nap time.

It doesn’t happen often, but whenever I have leftover bread either store bought or homemade, I don’t like letting It go to waste. I either make french toast with it or I make breadcrumbs. Day old bread is perfect for either. I always like having breadcrumbs on hand. I keep my freshly made breadcrumbs in the freezer so I can pull them out at a moment’s notice. You can keep them plain or by simply adding a few dried herbs; if you add dried basil, parsley and Parmesan cheese, it makes them Italian style, perfect for breading chicken or veal.

To start, I blend the bread in a food processor to make fine crumbs.

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Then I place them in the oven to dehydrate them. Once done, I pop them in the freezer to keep them fresh.

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Want to make your own? Here’s how:

Homemade breadcrumbs

Preheat your oven to 200F

Take the day old bread and shred it into pieces with you hands. Put it in a food processor. Turn the food processor on and process for a 3-4 minutes until the crumbs are uniform in size.

Place the crumbs on a baking sheet and extend evenly so that all crumbs are levelled. Place them in your preheated oven for 1 hour. Stir the crumbs every 20 minutes.

Buen provecho!

Kitchen, Recipe

Kale Pesto

I’m have to admit that I’m pretty lucky with my kids. The eat their vegetables, especially the green ones. Spinach, broccoli, collards, rapini, asparagus (especially asparagus) are not an issue in our home. With kale being the latest health trend due all the benefits it has, I was not shy to try is, nor were the kids. Kale is very high in vitamins K and A, not to mention vitamin C.

I started with something easy, kale chips- who doesn’t like chips? I couldn’t make them fast enough! The kids were eating them as they came out of the oven. Now kale appears on our plates steamed, stir fried, or in dishes like lasagna, soup or casseroles and the kids don’t bat an eye. To quote my oldest,

Ma, it tastes like spinach!

I know that most kids are more picky when it comes to vegetables so if you haven’t tried kale because you’re worried it will just sit on your plate at home, here’s an easy way to introduce it. Kale pesto. It’s easy to make, takes a few ingredients and then you can serve it on your pasta. So easy!

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Kale pesto
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 cups kale
1 garlic clove
1/2tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

If your pine nuts are not toasted, toast them in a dry skillet until lightly browned. Once they are cooled, pulse them in a food processor.
Add the kale, stems removed, and pulse again. Add garlic and salt, cheese. Mix all together and then, with motor running, slowly pour in the oil.

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This recipe makes about 1 cup of pesto. I use about 1/2 cup for 1 pound of pasta.

Buen provecho!

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General

Easy-Peasy Dinner

A few weeks ago I was at my mothers place flipping through her Chatelaine magazine. I came across a page that caught my eye. It said “one sentence recipe”
The instructions were super easy: toss a few vegetables, add seasonings and top with chicken. Bake it in the oven. Voila, dinner is ready. Say what? That’s it? Sounds too good to be true.

Well last week, during our never ending Polar vortex weather, I decided to make it. Seemed simple enough. It was simple, and delicious! All three kids loved it and asked for seconds which to me signals a successful dinner. (Don’t we all though?)

The original recipe called for only mushrooms and onions, but I added fingerling potatoes to really make it a one pot meal. The original recipe was for 4 people, since we are 5 and I always like to make extras for lunches or next day leftovers (non cooking nights are always welcomed) I doubled the recipe. The recipe below is for 4 people but with my additions.

Herbed Skillet Dinner
(Adapted from Chatelaine magazine)

Toss 1 lb of mushrooms, 1 small red onion cut into wedges, fingerling potatoes cut in half, 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp dry thyme in a cast-iron or hEavy skillet. Top with 4 chicken quarters, season with salt and pepper and cook in 450F oven for 40 mins or until juices run clear.

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Buen provecho!

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